How to get the best deal on a refrigerator

Well, it was bound to happen some time, and now we’re left looking for the best deal on a refrigerator.

We bought our current fridge about 2.5 years ago, used from a co-worker, for $50. At the time, we were downsizing from a one-bedroom apartment to a shack—or guesthouse in someone’s backyard. We were broke newlyweds, and barely had any money left after we put in the deposit. $50 was pretty much all we could afford to spend on a fridge.

The fridge was great for us. It had a bottom freezer, and was the perfect size for us. About two weeks ago, it started making noises and we knew that it wasn’t a good sign. So we weren’t too surprised when we woke up and found most of our freezer food half-defrosted.

I quickly bagged up as much as I could, and took it to my parents’ house. I placed the rest of refrigerated food in the freezer with a huge bag of ice and hope it will stay cold enough until we can get a replacement.

In researching the purchase of a refrigerator, I came across several tips to help us make a better decision and land us a good deal on a refrigerator.

  • Online research: Doing online research allows us to look at different kinds of fridges, and not just what’s available in the store.
  • Price compare: You can also price compare online. However, several apps, such as RedLaser and ShopSavvy allow you to scan the barcode of an item and see where you can get it for cheaper.
  • Price match: Several stores offer price match, and some stores, like Lowe’s, will even give you a competitor discount—meaning they’ll offer 10% off if you find your appliance for cheaper somewhere else. Check your local store’s guide for complete details.
  • Rebates: Many manufacturers, and even utility companies, like electric companies, will offer rebates for purchasing a certain refrigerator. I know our local electric company offers a rebate for the purchase of an energy-efficient model, and there is usually a wide range to choose from.
  • Know what you really need: Some people automatically purchase the nicest model just because it looks the best. But there are several features that aren’t really necessary. For us, it was the built in water and ice dispenser. I never put ice in any of my drinks, or even my water. And the only time we really use ice is for smoothies. For that reason, it didn’t make sense to pay an extra three to five hundred dollars (in some cases, even more!) just for the sake of the fancy looking water dispenser.
  • Space: Do you really need the biggest fridge available? Going for a smaller sized fridge will not only be cheaper, it will also save you money on electricity bills.
  • Sign up for the discount card: It may be worth it to sign up for a company’s credit card in order to get the 5-10% discount.